SE Asia Stocks-Philippines plunges over 2% on blue chips

By Sameer Manekar

* Philippines falls most in nearly three months * Thai cenbank cuts interest rate by 25 bps * Singapore up for 3rd session, Indonesia retreats By Sameer Manekar Nov 6 (Reuters) - Philippine shares slumped over 2% on Wednesday, retreating from a more than three-month closing high hit in the previous session, dragged by blue chips including SM Investments Corp and Ayala Land. Selling was broad-based with the top 10 stocks by market value on the benchmark stock index closing in the red. SM Investments Corp and Ayala Land shed 3.1% and 4.1%, respectively. The benchmark index closed 2.3% lower in its worst session since Aug. 15, after having risen 5.6% since Sept. 30 as of Tuesday's close. Investors locked in profit after the index clocked significant gains in recent sessions, said Charles Ang, associate analyst with COL Financial Group. Meanwhile, government data showed the country's trade deficit widened in September from the previous month. Among other Southeast Asian markets, financials sent Indonesian shares lower after sharp gains in the previous session. Index heavyweights Bank Central Asia and Bank Mandiri (Persero) fell 1% and 3.1%, respectively. Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged bank executives to help stimulate the economy, after Southeast Asia's largest economy grew at its weakest pace in over two years in the third quarter. An index of Jakarta's 45 most liquid stocks finished 1.2% lower. Meanwhile, investors waited for concrete developments on the Sino-U.S. trade war front after a report that the United States was considering whether to withdraw its trade duties on $125 billion of Chinese goods imposed on Sept. 1. Thai stocks inched lower, snapping two straight sessions of gains, after the central bank estimated the economy to grow less than forecast in 2019 and exports to decline more than predicted. The Bank of Thailand trimmed its policy rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%, its second cut this year, as opposed to a no-change forecast in a Reuters poll. Financials were up with Kasikornbank Pcl rising 1.4%, while among utilities, Gulf Energy Development PCL fell the most at 3.1%. Malaysian shares snapped two straight sessions of gains, dragged by consumers and utilities companies. Sime Darby Plantation and Petronas Gas closed down 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively. Financials and industrials helped Singapore shares close at their highest in over three months. Hongkong Land Holdings and Jardine Matheson Holdings were the top gainers, rising 1.8% and 2.3%, respectively. For Asian Companies click; SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS Change on the day Market Current Previous close Pct Move Singapore 3262.69 3248.63 0.43 Bangkok 1623.99 1626.87 -0.18 Manila 8025.88 8216.68 -2.32 Jakarta 6217.545 6264.152 -0.74 Kuala Lumpur 1603.25 1606.74 -0.22 Ho Chi Minh 1024.91 1024.34 0.06 Change so far in 2019 Market Current End 2018 Pct Move Singapore 3262.69 3068.76 6.32 Bangkok 1623.99 1563.88 3.84 Manila 8025.88 7,466.02 7.50 Jakarta 6217.545 6,194.50 0.37 Kuala Lumpur 1603.25 1690.58 -5.17 Ho Chi Minh 1024.91 892.54 14.83 (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)